Friday, July 09, 2010

My Take on the Al Fadhala Issue

First off, let me be clear: Getting thrown into prison for stating one's own opinion in a Democracy is wrong, wrong, wrong! It shouldn't' have happened, neither to Khalid nor Mohammed A. Aljasem, nor Juwaihel nor Al Baghdadi, nor anyone else. Furthermore, since opinions are as abundant as certain body parts of the human anatomy, it makes no sense to draft and issue laws that punish people for speaking their minds. In fact, political system that illogically and aimlessly pursue the Law to punish the people have been proven to fail and, eventually fall, badly.

Secondly, any truly democratic, multi-party, political system is bound to come across resistance from the opposition, especially if and when transparency forces sensitive issues out into the open. When something as sensitive as a threat to one's income (due to a global financial meltdown) is placed side-by-side against exorbitant expenditures made by individuals within the Government on conferences, perfumes, fragrances, garages and so on, it's only a matter of time when someone will blow up and say 'enough is enough', even if the expenses were completely justified!

Third, a properly-managed (and properly-funded) political party must have at least one other,  younger, secondary line of succession whose members are constantly groomed and fine-tuned to remain on the same political path as their elders. This line of succession is usually comprised of a band of brothers, picked for their unique social and debating skills, extraordinary opinions, clarity of thought, political views, charisma, fervor towards change, or any combination of these traits.  These traits are usually inherited from their proteges and mentors from within the political party, and are usually bettered and improved upon with every generation that comes after the reigning one.  

Examples from Kuwait are HADAS and their 'Itilafiya' Student Movement, Islamic Brotherhood and their "Islah Society", etc. etc. These are youth movements supported and financed by powerful political parties who develop steady streams of income towards the creation, development, sustainability and improvement of political power and influence within the Kuwaiti Political system. And they have charismatic, powerful and connected leaders by which they can be influenced and affected, and as a result, many student campaigns are won by these movements.

So where does that leave the National Democratic Alliance  from which Khalid Al Fadhala comes?

In short, the NDA is in chaos, disarray and political upheaval since it's early beginnings, as a result of various internal power struggles, due to which many of it's leaders and benefactors to distance themselves (and in some cases, resign altogether!) from this stricken party, with only the misguided and the loudmouths prevailing. It is these individuals that members of the youth movements look towards more closely for conducting their political behaviorism and mannerisms in public.

In short, the Old School retired, leaving the Kindergarten hungry for leadership and guidance, finding it in the untamed and uninitiated New School.  The result is people like Khalid Al Fadhala being thrown into prison for what amounts to the political equivalent of thumbing his nose in the face of the neighborhood wiseguy!

Who's to blame? Well, if you're from Kuwait, and you've been getting the hints you'll know what I'm talking about and who I'm referring to. Moreover, on a broader sense, I blame myself, my fellow voters and all the unregistered voters in Kuwait who have either chosen wrong, not voted, or simply not bothered to vote altogether. These damning actions have allowed scum, (Yes, I said it!) to walk into the Kuwaiti House of Parliament, unfairly enjoy the benefits of Parliamentary Immunity from prosecution, and have allowed dumb, myopic and unconstitutional laws to come into force.

Laws such as the recently inaugurated Media Laws, which allow terms of imprisonment to be handed to those that publicly state their opinion is one, Sports laws for another, gender segregation in Higher educational institutions is another, the recently revealed University dress code is another cracker, and don't get me started on Kuwait's Development projects.

On the bright side, however, I think Khalid will eventually be released, and will become a folk hero, and although his political future as a possible MP is now destroyed as a result of his sentencing, (so long as he's not given a reversal from the Kuwaiti Courts later on in his life) and he will become more indoctrinated and more radicalized than ever before. He has tasted prison life, and has stared corruption (in his own opinion) straight into the eyes and will be prepared to eat more bitterness as a result of his determination. His following will increase in numbers, his words will become headline news and his opponents will eventually run out of moral support. Hopefully, he will become a properly-adjusted leader of an opposition party instead of the existing jokers and has-beens!

To conclude, on the one hand, Khalid's got the energy and the will and the determination to effect positive change, but thanks to the MP-sponsored "Big Brother" Laws, he never had a chance to put that change into effect. My heart goes out to Khalid, his family and his supporters, I hope he's released soon, as I hope that those responsible for his incarceration will eventually be brought to the same blind justice that was used against him.

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